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Treetops - Aberdare National Park, Kenya

The Aberdare National Park - Mount Kenya Region

The famous Treetops is unique. Originally built in 1932, Treetops is famous as the place where the then-Princess Elizabeth learned of her father's death and ascended to the British Throne in 1952.

Styled to resemble a ship, the lodge comprises four decks and a top viewing deck. Timber built, it is raised on stilts overlooking a water hole and salt lick, while living tree branches form part of the fabric of the building itself. Solely dedicated to game-viewing, the accommodation is compact. At 6450 feet above sea level it can also be chilly at night at all times of the year (and especially during the Kenyan winter, from June to September). Typically guests take lunch at the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri before journeying to Treetops. Upon arrival they are met by a ranger for a briefing on optimum safety and game viewing.

Location
Treetops is located just inside the gates of the Aberdare National Park, overlooking a waterhole and saltlick.

Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.

The Background

The Aberdare National Park
Highlands, moorlands, peaks and falls
Aptly dubbed ‘Scotland with Lions', this atmospheric park showcases the chill, wild and beautiful moorlands of the Aberdare mountain range. An often mist-wreathed realm where elephants roam through lichen-hung forests; spectacular waterfalls plunge into churning pools, and trout-filled streams cascade through mossy dells, it offers matchless views of the glittering coronet of Mount Kenya and the sparkling lakes of the Great Rift Valley. Believed by the Kikuyu to be one of the homes of Ngai (God), the area became known as the ‘White Highlands' in the 1920's, due to the large numbers of Europeans who settled there. During the 1950's, the dense forests and bamboo thickets were the scene of intense guerrilla warfare between the British and the ‘Mau Mau' freedom fighters of Kenya, while the famous ‘Treetops' Hotel was where the young Princess Elizabeth heard she had become Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Accommodation
The 48 guest rooms (called ‘nests') are small and dark paneled in wood - they do not offer private bathrooms. Communal bathrooms are down the hall. Two suites (with private shower rooms) are also offered.

Dining and bars
The wood paneled dining room features long communal tables and bench seating. There is also a lounge and bar. The waterhole is traditionally visited by rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion, bushbuck and waterbuck.

Child-friendly
The club welcomes children over the age of five. Due to the proximity of the wildlife and the necessity for a silent environment the lodge is not considered suitable for children under this age.

What to see and do
The lodge offers nightly talks on the flora, fauna, avifauna and history of the park. 2-hour game drives are also offered in the ‘Salient' of the Aberdare National Park (the lower slopes of the range) and full-day game drives take in the upper slopes or moorlands area. The lodge has a gift shop.

Wildlife highlights: colobus monkey, leopard, lion, serval cat, elephant, warthog, black rhino, giant forest hog, reed and bushbuck, buffalo, duiker, suni, eland and the rare bongo antelope. Birds: 250 recorded species.


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